June 29, 2016

A recent DPR-led volunteer project that renovated classroom space at a Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay facility is fulfilling a vital community need by enabling the Club to expand its program offerings and ultimately, to serve more local youth – just in time for the students’ summer break.

The involved approximately 15 craft and administrative workers from DPR’s Tampa office, who put in a collective 189 hours to make improvements to a key area of the aging clubhouse. The project renovated and converted a single, long room used for program space for K-5th graders – space formerly subdivided by thin paper curtains – into three separate classrooms. The rooms are now visually and acoustically separated by solid walls, and each room has its own door for separate egress.

Before the volunteer-led renovation the Club had a single, large room for youth programming.  

The renovation transformed the large space into three classrooms, allowing the Club to host more academic enrichment programs at the same time.

In addition to constructing new walls to subdivide the classroom space, volunteers also painted the walls and trim, installed new baseboard and new ceiling tiles and stripped and re-waxed the floors (the latter contributed by a local flooring company). Additional DPR funds are being used to purchase new furniture to outfit the space and for several computer monitors.

The much-needed project will allow a greater number and diversity of classes to be offered simultaneously to the many local students who rely on the Boys & Girls Club facility to provide safe, secure and enriching after school and summer programs, according to DPR’s MaryAnn Skok.

“They can now have more academic enrichment programs going at the same time,” she pointed out.

The DPR Foundation awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay $15,000 in grant funding at the end of 2015 and has recognized it as a key community partner.

DPR volunteers were joined by volunteers from FleischmanGarcia Architects, as well as a local Sherwin Williams, the latter of which donated all of the paint.

Chris Letsos, President and CEO for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, said the willingness of local businesses to partner with them makes a huge difference for the Club and their ability to provide vital services to the local community.

“It is only through the dedication of community partners, such as DPR Construction, that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay is able to provide a world class Club experience for the youth that need us the most,” Letsos said. “The Wilbert Davis Belmont Heights Club is a beacon for the families living in the surrounding neighborhood, providing a safe space where young people can spend time to learn, grow and be productive. The recent project completed by the team at DPR Construction will allow us to expand programming and serve more youth, more often.”

The new space will be used for a variety of hands-on, interactive learning activities and enrichment programs, including programs such as a “healthy habits” program, street smart program, arts and crafts and other offerings.